50 Craziest Movie Cops

Rooster Cogburn True Grit (2010)

The Crazy Cop: Described as the “meanest” Deputy US Marshal, Rooster Cogburn (Jeff Bridges) is a booze-loving, one-eyed bandit who talks in such a garbled manner that it’s almost impossible to understand him.

He’s hired by 14-year-old Mattie Ross (Hailee Steinfeld) to find her father’s killer.

Most Lunatic Moment: Cogburn slings bottles in the air to prove how good his aim is.

He misses completely and even gets caught up in his coat.

Jackie Boy Sin City (2005)

The Crazy Cop: An abusive brute, Jackie Boy (Benicio del Toro) is in reality Detective Lieutenant Jonathan ‘Iron Jack’ Rafferty of the Basin City police, a man the press consider a ‘hero cop’.

Of course, we only find this out after he’s been killed by Miho (Devon Aoki).

Most Lunatic Moment: “Your chips are down…”

Sure, he’s dead, but that doesn’t shut Jackie Boy up (opens in new tab) .

Not one bit.

Gerry Boyle The Guard (2011)

The Crazy Cop: When drug smuggling arrives in Connemara Gaeltacht, Boyle (Brendan Gleeson) – whose methods are ‘unconventional’ to put it lightly – is forced to team up with straight-laced FBI agent Everett (Don Cheadle).

Most Lunatic Moment: We get an inkling of just what kind of a guard Boyle is right at the opening of the film when he frisks dead teenage cadavers for drugs – and takes one himself.

“I don’t know your mammy would be too pleased about that, now.”

Hank Quinlan Touch Of Evil (1958)

The Crazy Cop: A certain Captain Hank Quinlan (Orson Welles), who’s investigating an explosive case in which a bomb planted in a car on Mexican soil explodes as soon as it’s crossed over into America.

Quinlan’s suspected of planting evidence in order to help along convictions.

Most Lunatic Moment: Quinlan strangles Grandi (Akim Tamiroff), then pins the murder on Susie (Janet Leigh).

He then admits to planting evidence, but remains adamant they were “guilty, guilty”, just before an explosive shoot-out.

Pete Davis Unlawful Entry (1992)

The Crazy Cop: After helping a couple who’ve recently been burgled install a security system in their home, officer Pete Davis (Ray Liotta) starts getting a little too close for comfort.

Should he really be discussing the couple’s marital problems with them? Beyond the call of duty, if you ask us.

Most Lunatic Moment : It’s more an accumulative spiral of insanity, as Pete kills an officer who tries to help the couple, and blames it on a criminal.

That’s after destroying the couple’s business and then going on to plant cocaine in their house…

The Sheriff of Nottingham Robin Hood: Prince Of Thieves (1991)

The Crazy Cop: A cop of the olden days, the Sheriff of Nottingham (Alan Rickman) has a particularly sharp thorn in his side by the name of Robin Hood.

He’s also rather taken with Maid Marian (Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio).

Most Lunatic Moment : “I’m going to cut his heart out with a spoon!”

The Sheriff comes up with a particularly nasty way of offing Robin Hood.

Captain McCluskey The Godfather (1972)

The Crazy Cop: Captain McCluskey (Sterling Hayden), who’s as corrupt as they come.

He works for Virgil ‘The Turk’ Sollozzo (Al Lettieri), a big league heroin dealer.

Most Lunatic Moment: He’s only in the film briefly, but he’s mad enough to make a massive impact.

First he removes the guards from the Don’s hospital room in order for Sollozzo’s men to assassinate him.

Then he breaks son Michael’s jaw. It all culminates in that amazing restaurant scene, where McCluskey gets his comeuppance.

Judge Dredd - Dredd (2012)

The Crazy Cop: A futuristic law-giver who acts as judge, jury and executioner, Dredd (Karl Urban) acts in a way that most people would classify as crazy – he’s coldly detached from all emotions, and follows the law by the letter.

Most Lunatic Moment: SPOILERS . After Ma-Ma (Lena Headey) informs Dredd that a device on her wrist will detonate explosives at the top of the high rise if she dies, he calls her bluff and chucks her to her death anyway.

Also, he makes her inhale the Slo-Mo drug first, just so she can enjoy every millisecond of the death-ride.

Officers Slater and Michaels Superbad (2007)

The Crazy Cops: Officers Slater (Bill Hader) and Michaels (Seth Rogen), who are called in to investigate a robbery at a liquor store.

They wind up giving underage teen McLovin a ride to a party after being convinced by his fake ID.

Yes, they’re that stupid.

Most Lunatic Moment: For a start, they use their police lights and siren to jump red lights.

They then go to an abandoned car park and burn rubber like total idiots (opens in new tab) ...

Marcus Burnett and Mike Lowrey Bad Boys (1995)

The Crazy Cops: So nuts that they even sing their own theme tune – “Bad boys, bad boys what you gonna do? What you gonna do when they come for you?”

These guys are detectives for the Miami-Dade Police Department, and best buds to boot.

They’re as nuts as each other.

Most Lunatic Moment : An epic shootout that starts out in an apartment block lobby, then continues through a hairdresser (screaming grannies galore!) and ends with poor old Julie getting kidnapped. Mental.

Josh Winning has worn a lot of hats over the years. Contributing Editor at Total Film, writer for SFX, and senior film writer at the Radio Times. Josh has also penned a novel about mysteries and monsters, is the co-host of a movie podcast, and has a library of pretty phenomenal stories from visiting some of the biggest TV and film sets in the world. He would also like you to know that he "lives for cat videos..." Don't we all, Josh. Don't we all.